At 17 years old, most teenagers are focused on making the most of their high school experience, getting their license and driving for the first time or even landing a part-time job, but for Wes Warfel, it was joining Whatcom Community College and getting a headstart.
Whatcom Community College offers the Running Start program which is a statewide program that allows high school juniors and seniors to earn college credits and transfer to four-year universities by attending a community college tuition-free. That was exactly what Warfel did.
“High School was really easy for me, and I didn’t want to be sitting down doing something that was just easy. I was really excited to go to classes that were more in-depth and interesting to me,” Warfel said.
He enrolled in a mythology class at Whatcom and that’s when he felt he got off on the right foot because the college experience
was exactly what he was looking for.
“I had a better experience in that class learning and figuring stuff out than I ever did in high school,” he said.
Warfel felt that he was given real resources in college. The resources he was given in his mythology class was one of the many things that allowed him to convert stories into art.
“I was never smart enough to find the books myself so right away I had a teacher that shared with me books with great stories,” Warfel said.
However, college was not where Warfel’s passion for art began. He recalled how he first started rapping in seventh grade. “Everyone at my school was freaking out, saying I was a rapper,” he said.
Warfel realized what he liked about rapping was just being able to articulate one’s self, he saw it as the same as storytelling. “The more I started songwriting, I came to the conclusion that a lot of the things I wrote were more personal and it was just for me instead of putting it out for the world,” he said.
He believes the art he creates should be important for people to hear or see, especially things that go on in the world. “I want to make art that I can share with everyone around the world. I want to make change and I want to help people.”
Warfel eventually combined all of his different artistic skills and his love of storytelling into a passion project.
“If I could make a legacy for myself as I thought of everything that I could do and wanted to do it would be animation,” he said.
Impacting humanity in different forms by using his art to tell stories and to cause change is Warfel’s biggest goal.
“I’m currently writing an animation about a kid named Albert Apple. I was inspired by Rick and Morty which I believe to be one of the greatest animations of our generation,” he said.
Warfel looks back to when he used to come into the Learning Commons on campus every day to get into a headspace he needed while writing his animation.
“I got into a rhythm where I enjoyed coming here, utilizing the space and the whiteboard to take myself seriously and write the story for this animated series,” he said.
Warfel mentioned college helped him take himself more seriously, finalizing a product and becoming more productive and his animated series is coming together.
“I want my art to make people forget about everything else in the world,” he said.